Each and every year as the holidays approach I start to brainstorm all the wonderful homemade dishes and baked goods I want to conquer. Then reality sets in and I only accomplish a fraction of my list…wah, wah.
Will that whole process is currently in full swing (brainstorming, pinning, making notes, pocketing recipes, etc.) and I decided to check “homemade pumpkin puree” off my list from circa 2011ish.
This has been a whirlwind of a year for us (buying a home, getting married and having busy work schedules) so this activity was a little spur of the moment as we had two pumpkins leftover from Halloween that we never got around to carving 😦
So here’s how it went down (I read a few articles from some of my fave chefs, mainly focusing on the Pioneer Woman’s guidelines).
- Turn oven on bake to 350 degrees.
- Disassemble the clean (I scrubbed the outside) pumpkins. Ryan had to do this one as I do not have the muscle to cut apart a rather large pumpkin. He basically cut the pumpkin into medium sized pieces so that they would fit nicely among a few baking dishes.
- Separate the seeds from the guts (duh….love baked pumpkin seeds).
- Clean each pumpkin piece thoroughly getting rid of all ooey gooey guts.
- Place on foiled baking sheets (I was able to fit about 3 pieces of pumpkin on each).
- Now it’s time to bake them – this is where using regular pumpkins and pie pumpkins is very different. The Pioneer Woman says to bake for 45 minutes but I had to bake these larger pieces for more than double. I think it took almost 2 hours for the pumpkin to become tender.
- Okay, once the pumpkin is cooked and cooled, now it’s time to remove the skin and cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces so that they fit nicely into the food processor.
- On to pureeing the pumpkin! I had just gotten a new Cuisinart food processor as a wedding gift that I was super stoked to use and then….it failed me. Just would not turn on. So I pulled out my $30 Walmart one and it worked like a charm.
- The pureeing didn’t take as long as I expect but you want to make sure you keep processing it until it’s free of pumpkin chunks.
- I then stored the puree in both plastic Ziploc bags and mason jars (for the portion I was storing in the freezer).
Overall I would say the process was quite time consuming as we were pureeing two rather large pumpkins. If I were to do it again, I would definitely hunt down a few pie pumpkins.
Now for the real test…what did it taste like in a recipe? AMAZING. I just make pumpkin bread this week and it was so delicious.
Recipe for the Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread coming shortly!